Turning tests into testimonies

Turning tests into testimonies
For reading & meditation: Luke 21:1-13
“It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.” (v. 13, NASB)

We look now at the third step in the process of dealing with unmerited suffering: don’t spend too much time trying to understand the reason for suffering – focus rather on how you can deal with it. Notice, Jesus spent very little time trying to explain human suffering, much less explain it away. Had He undertaken to explain it, then His gospel would have become a philosophy – in which case it would not have been a gospel. A philosophy undertakes to explain everything, and then leaves everything as it was. Jesus undertook to explain little, but He changed everything He touched. He did not come to bring a philosophy, but a fact. What was that fact? The fact was His own method of meeting suffering and transforming it into something higher. Out of this fact, we put together our philosophy – a system of principles and procedures by which we live out our life in this world. Notice that fact comes first, and then the philosophy about the fact. The good news is not merely “good news”; it is the fact of sin and suffering being met and overcome, and a way of life blazed out through them. The fourth step is this: remind yourself that in God’s universe, He allows only what He can use. In the passage before us today, Jesus gives the nine sources from which suffering comes upon us: confused religionists (false Christs), wars and conflicts in society, calamities in nature, and so on. Then He says this: “It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony.” In other words, you are not to escape trouble, nor merely bear it as the will of God – you are to use it.

Prayer:
Blessed Lord Jesus, You who used Your suffering to beautify everything You did, teach me the art of turning every test into a testimony and every tragedy into a triumph. For Your own dear Name’s sake. Amen.

For further study:
John 17; Romans 5:3-4
1. What did Jesus promise?
2. What did Jesus pray?

IRS hands out bonuses to employees who haven’t paid their taxes

Originally posted on America's Watchtower:

  ABC (yes ABC) did a report on the IRS and in this story we learned that the IRS paid out $1,000,000 in bonuses to employees who are late on their taxes, and as many as 1,000 tax delinquent IRS employees received extra time off. (Maybe they should have used that extra time to do their taxes.)

  The report also claims that 69 employees received pay raises but was not clear on whether the people in question here are late on their taxes.

  Here is the report:

  How did that old American Express slogan go? Oh yeah: membership has its privileges. Perhaps the IRS should pay as much attention to the people they have working for them as they do to the conservative groups they were targeting. Or perhaps this was a reward for a job well done…..

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What’s Your Brand?

What’s Your Brand?

April 23

"The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it" (1 Thess 5:24).

Coca-Cola is the number one "brand" in the world. Companies spend millions of dollars making their brands known in business. They want you to recognize their brand. When you think of their brand they hope you will have positive thoughts in hopes it will influence your next purchasing decision.

Every individual has a personal "brand" whether you want it or not. Cultures have a brand. Ethnic groups have a brand. Your brand is defined by your conduct. If you are always late, you’ll soon develop a brand or reputation for being late. Others will even show up late because they know you will be late. If you are a person who exaggerates the truth, others will soon fail to take you serious.

However, the opposite can also be true. Your brand can be incredibly positive. By being a man or woman of your word, who is consistent in dealing fairly and honestly with others, your brand becomes known as someone who is faithful in all aspects of life.

One of God’s most important characteristics is His faithfulness. Faithfulness means one is true to fulfilling their promises to others in the time which was committed. God is faithful to fulfill all His promises to His children.

Moses was also an example of faithfulness to his call. "Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house" (Heb 3:5-6).

What is your brand among your peers? Is it a positive brand or does it need improvement? Allowing the Lord to make us more like Jesus is the only way our brand becomes trustworthy.

Ask the Lord today to make you a faithful brand in which others can trust.

**ALERT ** Baby DNA Vote in MN Senate TOMORROW, Wed, April 25

BABY DNA ALERT!

TOMORROW, Wednesday, April 25, the Minnesota Senate has scheduled a floor vote on the Baby DNA (Genetic Privacy Repeal) bill, SF 2047 (Marty).

This means every member of the Minnesota Senate will be asked to vote yes or no on repealing parent consent and eliminating genetic privacy rights for every newborn citizen into the future.

Please contact your Minnesota State Representative: sen.firstname.lastname

Ask them to vote NO on Senate File 2047 (“Newborn Screening Modifications”).

Author: Sen. John Marty (D-Roseville).

Reasons to Oppose SF 2047 Include:

1) SHIFT OF CONTROL: This bill is not about newborn screening; it’s about what happens after newborn screening is done. It’s about who has primary control over every newborn’s DNA. Today parents have it. The bill shifts control to state government and the MN Department of Health, which will store and use it without consent.
2) REPEALS PARENT CONSENT: The bill repeals today’s informed written parent consent requirements for government storage, use, analysis, and sharing of Baby DNA (taken at birth for the state government’s newborn screening program). Government claims a right to every newborn citizens’ DNA at birth. This is a repeal of genetic privacy rights.
3) BURDEN ON PARENTS: The bill replaces today’s parent consent requirements with parent dissent (opt-out) options. Government has first dibs to Baby DNA taken at birth unless parent know it’s happening (studies show they don’t), know they can object, and take action to object through filing a government form. This places an undue burden on parents and violates parent rights and genetic privacy rights.
4) GENETIC RESEARCH PERMITTED: The bill allows Baby DNA to be dissected, analyzed and used for “newborn screening studies" and "test development” without parent consent – This is genetic research because newborn screening is considered the nation’s largest populationwide genetic testing program. A Univ. of Michigan study found almost 75% of parents opposed to research without parent consent.
5) ALLOWS GOVERNMENT SEQUENCING OF CHILD: Nothing prohibits the government or their contractors from fully sequencing the entire genome of the child as a part of newborn screening studies and test development. The complete genetic blueprint of the child could be detailed and placed in a government file. Already the federal government has provided 4 institutions $25 million to develop a genomic sequencing program for newborn screening.

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SENATE WEBCAST

9:00 a.m. – (live) Senate floor session
Special Orders:
S.F. 2608 (Saxhaug) Grand Rapids central school commission authority repeal
S.F. 2642 (Pappas) Lawful gambling clarifying, technical and conforming modifications
H.F. 2659 (Metzen) Threading services cosmetology licensing exemption
H.F. 2536 (Pappas) Women’s Economic Security Act
S.F. 2390 (Sieben) Elections administration provisions modifications and technical changes; special school district #6, South St. Paul; school district election districts dissolution
H.F. 2948 (Sparks) Economic development obsolete and redundant laws repeal
S.F. 2449 (Hawj) Omnibus lands bill
S.F. 2047 (Marty) Newborn screening program modification